In today’s socially connected world, being alone can be associated with introversion or anti-social behavior but being alone doesn’t mean you’re lonely. Setting aside time for yourself is an exercise in self-love which will benefit you long term.
We often rely on relationships, social media and drugs to fill a void in our lives as opposed to addressing the feelings head on. Let’s take relationships, for example. Our minds seek stimulation, joy and purpose from relationships, and we sometimes use romantic relationships to meet all of our needs.
You may hold on to a partner who doesn’t treat you well but is available for fear of being alone. Or set unrealistic expectations of fulfillment on another partner. But at a certain point, you’ll realize you cannot get everything you need from another person, it has to come from within.
Solitude can also help you develop a better understanding of who you are and what you desire in life. As a result, you start to attract what and who you want around you.From there, you can develop close relationships and build connections with people who add to your life.
Find your people, your tribe, your gang — whatever you want to call it. Find a handful of people who appreciate and care for you with the confidence in knowing everything you need, you can find within yourself.
Many people also turn to drugs and alcohol to the point where it becomes a crutch, an addiction. A shocking statistic is that 31 percent of alcoholics in the U.S. are young adults, according to the National Institute of Health.
We often joke about alcoholism with friends, but many of us suffer from it at an early age without knowing it. It might be that friend who binge drinks every time you get together. Or the one who drinks to forget about financial stresses.
While substances provide temporary relief from the pain, the long term damage they create just isn’t worth it. What many people don’t realize — until it’s too late — is that ignoring an issue, doesn’t mean it goes away. In fact, it widens the stress and pressure it leaves until the issue seems too big to handle.
The last one is social media; it can keep us updated on social events, put us in touch with distant family and old friends. It can be an extraordinary way to meet new people, like those who live oceans away, with whom we might not otherwise have come into contact.
Just as it can be a nice escape, it can easily turn into an unhealthy behavior of comparison and lead to feelings of loneliness. Profiles are often littered with carefully posed selfies and photos of wild adventures meticulously crafted and cherry-picked.
After all, what’s the point of reaching out to someone if you just saw them on Twitter or Instagram with their latest update? So it becomes a weird cycle where the more connected you feel online, they less connected you are in real life which can feel isolating.
By all means, send that Snapchat to your friend in Sydney, text the one in Thailand, tweet the friend in Portugal; but make sure you disconnect at a certain point and make the effort to establish real, face-to-face connections.
Self-love is essential to creating the environment you want. Don’t put a Band-Aid on your wounds, and fixate on filling your life with other people and substances as a way of curing your issues. Take the time to be alone, revel in the quietness of being with only yourself and celebrate the roar of those who liven up your circle.